convergent lady beetle

(Hippodamia convergens)

Conservation Status
convergent lady beetle
  IUCN Red List

not listed

     
  NatureServe

NNR - Unranked

     
  Minnesota

not listed

     
           
           
           
 
Description
 
 

Convergent lady beetle is a slightly elongated, to ¼ long ladybird beetle. It is one of the most abundant in North America. It is widely sold by insectaries for biological insect control. Adults are gathered when they are dormant at high elevations in California where they congregate in huge masses to overwinter. Their ability to produce eggs is suspended for several weeks after they are released. During this time they migrate to other areas, making their purchase a waste of time and money.

The body is oval and dome-shaped.

The head is black with three white, connected spots between the eyes. The thorax plate (pronotum) is black with a white margin around three sides and a well-defined, white, dash-shaped spot on each side. The dashes converge toward the head, giving this species its common and scientific names.

The thick, hardened, shell-like forewings (elytra) are orange with up to 13 black spots. When there is a full complement of 13 spots, they are in a 1–4–4–4 pattern. The forward spot is spread over the junction of the two elytra. There is a white spot at the base of each side of the forward spot. Occasionally, the elytra have no spots.

The larva looks like a tiny, blackish alligator with numerous spines.

 
     
 

Size

 
 

Total Length: to ¼

 
     
 

Similar Species

 
     
     
 
Habitat
 
 

Agricultural fields, forests, gardens. Any place having plants with aphids.

 
     
 
Biology
 
 

Season

 
 

One or two generations: spring and summer

 
     
 

Behavior

 
 

The larvae eat about 25 aphids per day, the adults about 56 per day.

 
     
 

Life Cycle

 
 

In the spring and early summer the female lays an upright batch of 15 to 30 spindle-shaped eggs near their prey. Over the course of one to two months she will lay 200 to 500 eggs. The eggs begin hatching and the larvae feed first on the remaining unhatched eggs then on aphids. In a period of 10 to 30 days, the larvae moult three times, then pupate. The adult emerges 3 to 12 days later, depending on the temperature. Adults live for weeks or months, depending on the availability of food, the temperature, and the time of year.

 
     
 

Larva Food

 
 

Aphids

 
     
 

Adult Food

 
 

Aphids, scale insects, and other soft-bodied insects. Sometimes also insect eggs, mites, and small larvae.

 
     
 
Distribution
 
 

Distribution Map

 

Sources

7, 27, 29.

 
  2/11/2020      
         
 

Occurrence

 
 

Common, abundant, and widespread

 
         
 
Taxonomy
 
 

Order

Coleoptera (beetles)  
 

Suborder

Polyphaga (water, rove, scarab, longhorn, leaf and snout beetles)  
 

Infraorder

Cucujiformia  
 

Superfamily

Cucujoidea  
 

Family

Coccinellidae (ladybird beetles)  
 

Subfamily

Coccinellinae  
 

Genus

Hippodamia  
       
 

Synonyms

 
 

 

 
       
 

Common Names

 
  convergent lady beetle  
     
 

The term lady beetle is more appropriate than ladybug because the term “bug” refers to insects in the order Hemiptera.

 
       

 

 

 

 

 

Glossary

Elytra

The hardened or leathery forewings on an insect used to protect the fragile hindwings, which are used for flying, in beetles and true bugs.

 

Pronotum

The saddle-shaped, exoskeletal plate on the upper side of the first segment of the thorax of an insect.

 
 
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    convergent lady beetle   convergent lady beetle  
           

 

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Other Videos
 
  Convergent Lady Beetle (Coccinellidae: Hippodamia convergens)
Carl Barrentine
 
   
 
About

Uploaded on Jun 9, 2011

Photographed at the Turtle River State Park, North Dakota (08 June 2011).

 
  Convergent Lady Beetles (Coccinellidae: Hippodamia convergens) Mating
Carl Barrentine
 
   
 
About

Uploaded on Oct 1, 2011

Photographed at Fisher, Minnesota (01 October 2011). Thank you to Abigail Parker (@Bugguide.net) for confirming the identity of these specimens!

 
  Convergent Lady Beetle (Hippodamia convergens) 12/2011
SCRSubaruWRX
 
   
 
About

Uploaded on Jan 10, 2012

Convergent Lady Beetles congregating near the Butte Creek in Northern California.

 
       

 

Camcorder

 
 
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